A size 16 woman fit into a size 10 dress, proving that sizes don’t mean anything

woman at size 12/20The INSIDER Summary:

  • 23-year-old Michelle Elman is a size 16 (UK size 20).
  • Elman shared an Instagram of her wearing a size 10 (UK size 14) dress from Juicy Couture.
  • It is the same dress she wore five years ago as a size 8 (UK size 12).
  • The photo has gone viral with over 8,000 likes.
  • Elman’s photo proves that clothing size numbers often don’t mean anything.

Retailers like H&M are constantly criticized for offering clothes in tiny sizes. But often, the number on a clothing label doesn’t mean much in the first place. 

Size 16 body positive activist Michelle Elman proved that in a recent Instagram post, which showed her wearing a size 10 dress — which she told INSIDER she bought from Juicy Couture — five years ago as a size 8.

The 23-year-old Brit shared this side-by-side photo wearing the same dress in 2012 and 2017 on May 31 (including UK sizes):

NUMBERS DON’T MEAN ANYTHING. I found a dress in my cupboard the other day that I had since I was in sixth form. The dress is a size 14. I bought it 5 years ago when I was a size 12. Now, I’m a size 20. And yet, I still fit it. Which just proves that NUMBERS DON’T MEAN ANYTHING. So are you really going to let a change a dress size dictate your day? Are you really going to let an increase in a number affect your mood? Same dress. Still comfortable. Still beautiful. (In fact, I think I look better and happier now!) A higher dress size doesn’t mean: – you are less beautiful – you are less worthy – you are less lovable – you are a worse human – you are a bad person – you are a different person AND it doesn’t even mean you have a bigger body. You could go up a dress size by simply changing stores… (or countries). You can change dress sizes because of the time of the day or simply due to whether you are on your period or not. If you look at your cupboard and you find it harder and harder to find something to wear because of a change in clothing size, I have a great solution for you… throw out all clothes that don’t fit. Looking at your wardrobe shouldn’t be something that makes you feel insecure and sad so make sure everything in your wardrobe fits! Numbers don’t matter. Not the number on the back of your jeans, on the scale or even the number in your bank account. You are not a number. #OneTakeBeauty #BodyPositivity EDIT: For anyone saying I’m lying about my size. Check my stories

A post shared by Michelle Elman (@scarrednotscared) on May 29, 2017 at 8:07am PDT on
May 29, 2017 at 8:07am PDT

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Elman posted a lengthy caption with an inspiring message about body image, emphasizing that numbers shouldn’t define how women ought to feel about themselves.

Here’s the full caption (emphasis ours):

“NUMBERS DON’T MEAN ANYTHING. I found a dress in my cupboard the other day that I had since I was in sixth form. The dress is a size 14 [US size 10]. I bought it 5 years ago when I was a size 12 [US size 8]. Now, I’m a size 20 [US size 16]. And yet, I still fit in it. Which just proves that NUMBERS DON’T MEAN ANYTHING. So are you really going to let a dress size dictate your day? Are you really going to let an increase in a number affect your mood? Same dress. Still comfortable. Still beautiful. (In fact, I think I look better and happier now!) A higher dress size doesn’t mean: – you are less beautiful – you are less worthy – you are less lovable – you are a worse human – you are a bad person – you are a different person AND it doesn’t even mean you have a bigger body. You could go up a dress size by simply changing stores… (or countries). You can change dress sizes because of the time of the day or simply due to whether you are on your period or not. If you look at your cupboard and you find it harder and harder to find something to wear because of a change in clothing size, I have a great solution for you… throw out all clothes that don’t fit. Looking at your wardrobe shouldn’t be something that makes you feel insecure and sad so make sure everything in your wardrobe fits! Numbers don’t matter. Not the number on the back of your jeans, on the scale, or even the number in your bank account. You are not a number. #OneTakeBeauty #BodyPositivity EDIT: For anyone saying I’m lying about my size. Check my stories”

After posting the photo, Elman received several negative comments about her size from people who either missed the point of her post, or didn’t read the full caption. The reaction to her photo was so strong that the activist shared a second post — this time showing her in different outfits at the same size — to shut down her haters.

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